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Lindsay California Wows Us All

Bill Drennan and Carolyn Callison, the Co Chairs of the Lindsay Murals Fest, a public/ private seminar for Californians, did tell us that the Super 8 Motel was the only one in town. They forgot to tell us that four town restaurants had closed in the past year. But that would simply have been camouflage. Because the truth is that Lindsay is very much on the up and up with a $10 million Plaza which the seminarians launched at the Gala Supper. And there was much more. And a Store Front Enhancement Program (STEP) giving a 50% contribution is affording for the fresh look everywhere.

Specifically for us visitors Lindsay’s top arts team had assembled a brilliant slate of speakers and participants. John Pugh, the Master of Trompe L’Oeil ( and 29 Palms Bull Fame ), was there throughout; so was famed historian and author James Prighoff, interpreting for us and showing hundreds of images in his two sessions on Murals History and Spray Can Art. Leading paint makers and restorers were there to while away many a technical hour with myriad artists in attendance. Karl Schutz kept us up to date with the Pacific Cultural Highway in British Columbia and the latest news from Chemainus. Dream the dream he exhorted us.

Art Mortimer led a stream of artists creating a Mural in A Day of the Butterfield Stage. Wei Luan, Colin Williams and six other distinguished local Californian artists created no fewer than eight 8’ x 8’ new murals for auction – Wei Luan’s Cat Fight is now coming our Prestoungrange way after the team made the winning bid.

Click picture to enlarge

And of course Lindsay is just the ‘poor’ economic relation in a murals triangle that includes Exeter and Tulare, all in Tulare County. Visits to these two townships to see their thriving economies including several antiques shops was all part of the fare. One could sense a tinge of regret maybe in these other towns that Lindsay had taken the initiative to make the seminar happen – a baton that now passes to master class heroes of murals Lompoc for 2005.

Announcing 2004, 2005 and 2006 for the Global Association

As well as the excellent networking taking place Lindsay was also a time to ponder where next! 2004 is Ely Nevada’s year as the 5th Global Conference venue; 2005 sees Bowen Queensland and Lompoc both offering Regional Seminars and 2006 is of course the Year Prestoungrange Comes of Age .. with the 6th Global Conference.

Much important networking was of the share and compare variety. We heard of Singing Murals to match the Play for Today. We talked Economic Development and Marketing and How to Raise Funds. All old chestnuts. Yet still it was gratifying to hear from one old stager that the Prestoungrange notion of setting up a ‘Total’ Arts Trail, including all the artefacts already to be found out and about as well as the newly minted, was a fine way to proceed. The notion of the economic multiplier and what that implied for infrastructure strategies was also news to many and led Lindsay to pause for thought over its vanishing restaurants.

What was truly remarkable however was how much the economic benefits are taken for granted in California where there must surely be more murals towns than anywhere else on earth. Everyone works merrily along with the economic developers even at those times when artistic temperament might get in the way. Seems that for California at least that’s where the smart votes lie. And perhaps symbolically the Arts Tourism Diploma Program in process with Revans University and the Global Association attracted a new Associate, being the Economic Development Manager from Stony Plains, Alberta. With Dr Karl Schutz as the Set Adviser, it's a programme very well worth joining!

What the Papers Say … and Folk Having Fun Around Town

There was extensive press and local TV coverage of which some we have our hands on are linked here. But the cameras were out too and more than a few views were worthwhile. For the full murals suites in the towns the underlined links above work best!

Click on the links below to view the news articles

Article 1 | Article 2 | Article 3 | Article 4 | Article 5 | Article 6 | Article 7 | Article 8

Click pictures to enlarge

Published Date: October 16th 2003

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